- Christmas rally enters sixth day in Europe (Reuters)
- Downing North Korea's Internet not much of a scalp (Reuters)
- North Korean Internet Access Restored After Hours-Long Outage (BBG)
- At U.N. council, U.S. calls life in North Korea 'living nightmare' (Reuters)
- Ukraine Cuts Gold Reserve to Nine-Year Low as Russia Buys (BBG)
- De Blasio Seeks to Heal Rifts With Police After Officers Slain (BBG)
- Oil steady around $60 on hopes of strong U.S. data (Reuters) - so it fell below $60 because...
- Australian Dollar Hits Four and a Half Year Low on Chine Growth Worries (Reuters)
"if anything defines 2014 for me, it’s the advent of incessant claims for which no proof – apparently – needs to be provided. Everything related to Ukraine over the past year carries that trait; the economy too, and now Sony/North Korea. Never any proof, you just have to believe what your government says."
North Korea Warns Of Attacks Against White House, Pentagon And Entire "Cesspool Of Terrorism" That Is AmericaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/22/2014 10:07 -0400
The whole "North Korea hacking Sony" story had gotten so bizarre over the past week, there was nothing stopping it from jumping fully into the rabit hole. Which it did overnight when as the FT reported, North Korea warned of strikes against key sites in the US in retaliation for Washington blaming Pyongyang for the recent Sony cyber attack, saying any US punishment over the incident would lead to damage “thousands of times greater”. The NDC said its 1.2m-member army was ready to use all types of warfare against the US. “Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon, and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the ‘symmetric counteraction’ declared by Obama,” said the NDC statement, carried by official news agency KCNA.
Defiant North Korea Says Can Prove It Is Not Behind Hack "Without Resorting To Torture Like The CIA"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/20/2014 12:01 -0400
Surely, the punchline is that even a tiny backwater, dictatorship can now make fun of US "moral high ground" courtesy of the recent CIA torture disclosure. “We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the C.I.A. does,” the North Korea statement said. Oops.
Epic Bot Fraud: Up To 50% Of All Publisher Traffic Is From Fake Clicks; Billions In Ad Revenue At RiskSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/19/2014 12:39 -0400
Up to 50% of publisher traffic (!) is bot activity, just fake clicks from automated computing programs.
Bots account for 11 percent of display ad views and 23 percent of video ads.
Between 3 percent and 31 percent of programmatically bought ad impressions were found to be from bots, with an average of 17 percent.
More than half of traffic from third parties claiming to lift publishers' traffic numbers comes from bots.
Some scary shite...
- Swiss National Bank Starts Negative Interest Rate of 0.25% to Stave Off Inflows (BBG)
- Putin Strikes Uncompromising Stance Over Crisis Gripping Russia (BBG)
- Sony cancels North Korea movie in apparent win for Pyongyang hackers (Reuters)
- U.S. Said Set to Blame North Korea for Sony Cyber Attack (BBG)
- China’s Short-Term Borrowing Costs Surge as Demand for Money Grows (WSJ)
- Russia Currency Market Bends But Doesn’t Break (BBG)
- Jeb Bush Puts Pressure on Chris Christie for 2016 (WSJ)
- From joy to outrage, Florida's Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy (Reuters)
- Russians Quit London Luxury Homes as Only Super-Rich Stay (BBG)
The Terrorist Hackers Win: Sony Pulls Release Of "The Interview" Due To Fears Of "9/11-Style Retaliation"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2014 17:55 -0400
One of the biggest conspiracy theories in recent weeks has nothing to do with the stock market and the Fed, or with HFT manipulation, or with Ukraine's gold, or with who brought down the two Malaysian airliners, but whether the now beyond ridiculous drama surrounding Seth Rogen and James Franco's latest movie, The Interview, which has its very own cast of C-grade characters, including an alleged furious North Korean dictator and his hacker disciples, a mega corporation whose servers were hacked releasing the content of thousands of emails into the open, and of course, delighted marketing stuiod execs, has been staged and planned from the beginning. Because the latest development in this soap opera is almost as surreal as today's shocking detente with Cuba: as the Hill reports, America's top five movie theater chains have decided to pull the Sony Picture's comedy "after cyberattackers on Tuesday threatened Sept. 11-style attacks against any theater showing the movie."
- Citigroup is pleased: Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill (Reuters)
- Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping (Reuters)
- 5 Things to watch at the December Fed Meeting (WSJ)
- Russia Tries Emergency Steps for 2nd Day to Stem Ruble Rout (BBG)
- Ruble crisis could shake Putin's grip on power (Reuters)
- Apple Curbs Russia Sales as McDonald’s Lifts Prices (BBG)
- Traders Betting Russia’s Next Move Will Be to Sell Gold (BBG)
- China Warms to a More Flexible Yuan (WSJ)
It never fails: every year we get a story of that one individual who, as simple survivorship bias would suggest, made a killing in the same market where 999,999 others lost (you won't ever read about them though). This year that someone is a 17-year-old from Queens who, according to rumors at Styuvesant High School in NYC where he is a junior, made $72 million by trading pennystocks, oil and gold. Meet Mohammed Islam, who as the photo below shows, is like most other high school kids... with a few exceptions: he rents a Manhattan apartment, drives a BMW. And eats caviar and apple juice. Allegedly.
Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass... The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.
With just over 3 hours left until a completely unexpected government shutdown, what was supposed to be a token vote (as we called it), ended up being yet another debacle for House republicans under Boehner, when it turned out - literally in the last second - that the republicans do not have the required votes. So here is what happens next.
In reality, bureaucrats and politicians who produce nothing of value parasitically choke off the productive class through onerous taxation and regulation. This cannot last forever, because at some point they will have no hosts left to feed off of. Ukraine is the perfect example of this right now. In a leaked version of a new budget proposal (in Ukrainian), we are seeing the drastic extent to which bankrupt governments feed on their hosts.
For an estimated 1 million Beijing residents, dubbed the "rat tribe", living above ground (or in ghost cities) is a luxury they simply cannot afford. As NPR reports, with even the tiniest apartment costing a fortune (and 21 million people fighting for space), there has emerged a new 'affordable' housing option... below the city's bustling streets. Thanks to building codes that force the creation of basements and bomb shelters under new residences, there's a lot of underground space (1 - 3 floors down) that is illegally - but affordably - used for habitation. With the Shanghai Composite stock index up over 40% year-to-date, creating wealth and trickling down, how can this be possible?
Do you ever feel like you are living in a “Bizarro World”?